10 Tips to DIY your own Newborn Photography in a pinch

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Covid 19 got you skipping out on your planned newborn photos?

Are you still wanting those newborn images, but there’s no way in hell you’re allowing a living breathing soul near your new baby.

I get it, I completely understand, and I have several clients in your very boat right now. 

It’s ok to be a bit upset about not having the chance to get those professional photos of your family and baby right now, but when this is all over you can still have the photos done! Your baby will just be a bit bigger, a bit chubbier, and a whole lot more wide eyed! But you will also be a bit more rested, and have had time to recover from delivery and jumping into life with a brand new  baby 24/7

So how can you still snap some decent photographs of your brand new baby during their first couple weeks or months of life? 

I’ll tell you some simple tips and tricks to use what you have on hand, and pull out that fancy camera, or just the phone from your pocket. It’s all good, any photo is better than no photo at all for this. 

So, skim through your camera’s manual, or at least know how to turn that baby on, or head over to my tutorial on camera basics to get you headed in the right direction. 

1 Start as soon as possible. 

Newborn photographers recommend having photos done within the first 10 days for a few very good reasons. Babies are still very sleepy, the fall into the “milk coma” after feedings,  and they still love to be curled up and swaddled tightly. 

If the thought of having to do your own photos so soon after you delivered is just too daunting, you can absolutely follow some of the next tips… 

2. Take your time – as in spread your photos out over the course of a whole day, or multiple days during the first two weeks

Newborn photographers will have a session lasting around two hours to complete an entire session including baby, family and siblings. You have the advantage here. You can take photos multiple times a day, or once a day, or even just a couple times over the span of those two weeks. Use the times when your baby is napping to snap off a few and try to get some decent photographs. 

3. Find the light. 

Quite possibly the number one most important tip. This probably should be up there at the #1 spot. Photographs are 100% made by light. Natural light being the best to work with, especially for a non-photographer such as yourself. 

So how in the heck do you find the best light? 

Watch your home during the day and take note which room is the brightest. Stand next to the window with your back towards the wall, allow the window light to fall on your subjects. An image like the one below can easily be taken by your partner! Just tell him to snap away as you love on your new babe.

10 Tips to Do your own newborn pictures

Renee Ash Photography NJ newborn photographer

4. Keep. it. simple.

Newborn photographers have years of experience and training to do all those poses you see on pinterest and instagram. Don’t make your life frustrating or over complicated by attempting these and risking the safety of your baby. Sometimes the simplest poses are best in this situation. I know you’ve all heard of  pinterest fails. Don’t be that person. 

A photo like the one below is simple and timeless, no unnecessary props or posing, just your tiny love, on a simple blanket, in a simple outfit.

10 Tips to Do your own newborn photos

lou lou and company olive swaddle 

Renee Ash Photography NJ newborn photographer

5  Keep your camera nearby, and use what you have.

Some of the best photos during the first days at home are the candid ones. keep your camera handy so you can grab it at a moment’s notice when you see something sweet going on between siblings, or so you can have your partner grab it quickly and snap some of you with your babe!

6. Find the right angle

Let’s be honest, not all angles are the most flattering. Try to take photos from a higher angle. Have your subject sitting or you can stand on a stool to get a more top down angle.

7. Wardrobe 

I always recommend basics and neutrals for newborn clients. the less distracting patterns and colors the better.

8  Siblings

Toddlers are unpredictable, as I’m sure you know. DO NOT give a toddler a baby to hold, especially if you are stepping back to take a picture. Instead have them lie on a bed, a blanket or throw, and snuggle together. This is much safer option, and make for really natural and cute newborn sibling photos!

When working with siblings, keep things fun and exciting. The more upbeat you stay and the more you smile and encourage them the better. Instead of asking for smiles, ask silly questions or make funny noises. 

Also, don’t expect siblings to cooperate for more than a few minutes at a time. Try to get the shot and if it just isn’t working, come back to it again later. Also, use bribes… bribes always work 😉 

9 Get in the frame! 

Set your camera up and hand it over to someone else, maybe your husband or an older child. Go ahead and set it up on a tripod, on a bunch of books, a chair, etc. Pop that sucker on self timer mode and get in the photo with your baby. Even if you never share it with another living being, you’r future you will thank you.

10. No pressure

Don’t expect professional results, especially if you’ve never attempted something like this! Be gentle with yourself and be glad that you have the ability to try multiple times if you’d like. 

These photos aren’t a replacement for what a professional newborn photographer will be able to accomplish, but will fill in the gap from when your baby is born and when you can have professional photos done. 

When all of this pandemic is said and done and we can go back to life as normal, be sure to book a real session with a professional! You will certainly never regret having the photos done. 

Ashley of Renee Ash Photography is a New Jersey newborn photographer based in Sussex County New Jersey and available to travel throughout NJ, NY and North Eastern PA.

DIYing your newborn photos

Renee Ash Photography New Jersey Newborn photographer

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